Friday, January 13, 2012

Seven Quick Jobby Takes

--- 1 ---

Remember that family I babysat for last week? Well, what I didn't mention was that it was a trial run for a part-time nannying position. I'm supposed to work 2-3 days a week from 7:30 to 3:30. This week I did 7:30 to 3:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then "my" family ended up needing a babysitter today as well. I was supposed to work 9:30 to 5:30. And then the kids' dad's car's battery died, so he didn't get back from work until 6:00. As I write this sentence, it's 8:15 and I haven't had dinner yet. (It's cooling on the stove. I did have hot chocolate once I got home and a few handfuls of mozzarella while I was making the pizza.)

--- 2 ---

My favorite part of babysitting: On Tuesday, the 8-year-old girl was saying grace before her lunch and after the usual "Bless us, O Lord..." she ad-libbed some stuff she was thankful for and one of the things was that she got to spend the day with "the best babysitter in the whole world."

Yes, I DID melt into a puddle right there on the kitchen floor.

On Thursday she told me I was a great babysitter two more times. The first time, we were playing Battleship together while the baby napped. (She won fair and square. It's strange but true that sometimes randomness beats strategy.) The second time, we were all sitting at the window watching snow fall outside and Girl made a comment about how this might be the first snow Baby remembers and I replied that I don't remember anything that happened when I was 1 and that started this deep philosophical conversation about memories. After which she told me I'm a great babysitter.

Today the little boy (a 6-year-old who goes to a Catholic school rather than being homeschooled like his sister and was only present from 3:45 to 6:00 today) said that the baby was the best brother EVER. The girl piped up with "And guess who's the best babysitter ever?" The boy guessed right. AM DEAD FROM THE CUTE.

--- 3 ---

I am really happy about this job because 1) Most weeks I will not have to work more than 24 hours, thereby freeing up more of my time for housewifely pursuits and leisure and stuff while still making me feel like I'm doing my part to keep us from starving to death. 2) Kids make me happy. It never ceases to amaze me, because I'm the kind of person who doesn't like loud noises or sticky things or...any one of a number of other things one generally associates with children. But taking care of real live children just makes me all peaceful and fulfilled in a way almost nothing else does.

Half of the time I think this is awesome because that means I will totally rock being a stay-at-home mom. (It's babysitting minus the daily dose of things that tend to make me anxious, such as driving and associating with grown-ups I don't know well.) The other half of the time I worry that I am getting an excessively rosy picture of things and the first day I'm home alone with a baby I will be cruelly disappointed that its parents are not coming to pick it up and become terribly depressed as a result and be so scarred by the experience that I never want to have a second child and all my hopes and dreams will be dashed, etc.

Aren't you jealous of my brain?

--- 4 ---

I've noticed lately that I'm REALLY bad at small talk. I started noticing it while wedding planning, because I think people expect you to be REALLY! HAPPY! or a bridezilla or something and they didn't quite know what to make of the girl who sat there and nodded quietly as they discussed their hall's catering policies.

We will here pause for a moment and laugh at the idea that somebody like me has the social finesse to successfully identify a look of unmet expectation. Probably people's faces just look like that all the time and I never noticed before.

Anyway, I'm not used to this happening with babysitting because most of my recent babysitting has been for 1) My mother 2) My old youth group director or 3) My Ministry to Moms mom, who I stuck with for 2 of my 4 years at college.

Now I'm with new people and they ask stuff and I answer and then there's that awkward pause where I feel like I am supposed to chatter about something and my mind is totally blank. Like: "How was the drive?" "Fine." [pause]

That's actually a bad example, because now I know that when asked about the drive I should comment on the traffic and/or the weather. The weather has been cooperating with my need for small talk fodder lately; I can discuss the fact that it was raining on my way there and is expected to snow in the afternoon or whatever. I am also building a stock of things to say at the end of the day when asked how the kids were. (At first: "They were good." [pause] Now: "They ate these things for lunch and we played these games and Girl is really mastering two-digit addition and subtraction.")

Is there like a small-talk manual somewhere out there so I can pick this up faster?

--- 5 ---

It has been pointed out to me that some person from Scott's homeschool group found this blog and realized it was Scott's girlfriend's blog (well, not anymore, but you get the idea). Hi, random person! If you're still reading, you should comment sometime!

It has been further pointed out to me that now odds are good that the existence of my blog has been leaked to the Western Ohio Homeschool Mother Grapevine, and therefore I should watch what I say.

Now I'm thinking of that scene from Dr. Horrible where he says he needs to be more careful because Captain Hammer and the chief of police watch his vlogs.

Anyhoodle. I have a long-standing policy of not saying bad stuff about bosses or professors on my blog, so if I DID have bad stuff to say about my current bosses I wouldn't say it here. I can't say that everything on this blog is something I'd willingly say to someone in person, but bear in mind that I'm painfully shy with everyone over the age of about 12. So this is kind of my outlet for all the things I'd say if I was an extrovert. And long-term readers could tell you that I'm okay with admitting that I'm wrong if I say something regrettably stupid. (Mari in particular might remember one hours-long Skype conversation about a post I wrote a few years back. I ended up admitting she was right and I was...less right.)

--- 6 ---

In other job-related news, Scott had an interview on Tuesday afternoon. He said it went well. Prayers would be appreciated.

The attentive among you might notice that I was working Tuesday and might remember that Scott doesn't drive. (Yet.) Fortunately, we live all of 3 miles away from his family and managed to prevail upon them to give him a ride to the nearest bus stop so he could take a bus downtown for his interview. (He is a public transportation rockstar. By which I mean that he knows how to take a bus and I don't so I'm impressed.) So it all worked out beautifully, though for a while it seemed like one of those riddles where you have to get the fox and the chicken and the bag of corn across the river without anything getting eaten.

When Scott actually gets a job, we'll have to figure out a long-term solution to getting us both to work (even after Scott gets his license, we'll still only have the one car), but I figure we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

--- 7 ---

I have discovered that it is kind of awesome to come home from work cold and tired and hungry and find that the kitchen which was covered in dirty dishes is now spotless thanks to your awesome husband. And all I had to do was ask nicely!

I am currently working on developing a chart of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, partly so Scott knows what he's supposed to do without even having to be asked and partly so that I know what I'm supposed to do. (Like, I realized we haven't cleaned our tub since we moved here. It gets soap and water in it when we shower. That makes it clean, right?)

I'm also planning to make a master grocery list of sorts with prices for various items so someday I can email it to Scott and then he will be able to benefit from my grocery-shopping wisdom and perhaps someday even make a list and go shopping all by himself. (After he learns how to drive, obviously.)

Bonus take: I got my new Social Security card in the mail today. Something I didn't realize is that the issue date is on the card, so I get to see 1/6/2012 on there every time I look at it for the rest of my life and smile because I love Epiphany. :)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Kat said...

We only had one car for the first 4 years of our marriage, including times when my husband worked 30 minutes away and we had 2 kids. It was a wonderful bonding time having to drop each other off at work. You will do fine, especially since you have a public transportation rockstar in the picture! Btw, didn't realize I was so into your blog until I found myself looking for it on the quick takes list today. It reminds me of my engaged/newlywed days... So lovely, and yet, it really does get better!

The Sojourner said...

When I was about 8 my mom quit work to stay home full time (she started homeschooling us shortly thereafter) and one of the ways my parents cut back on expenses was to only have one car. My dad had an hour commute at the time; I have surprisingly fond memories of being stuck in the car in my pajamas at 7 a.m. and riding back and forth to drop him off so we could go to appointments or errands or whatever.

I don't have any experience, though, with a two-job, one-car family. I worry about me having to work 7:30 to 3:30 20 miles south and him having to work 8:00 to 5:00 10 miles north, which just doesn't work. (Then again, I was never good at those fox and chicken problems.) I'm trying to stop borrowing trouble, though. Right now I should be worrying more about what we'll do if he DOESN'T get a job.

Emily G. said...

I'm glad your job is going well. I nannied/babysat all through high school and beyond. It's so fun when the kids love you. :)

I'm terrible at small talk, too. I kind of got the same vibe from you when we met. Sorry, I wasn't trying to be anti-social. I just am so awkward trying to come up with stuff to say to people I haven't spent much time around. I spend the rest of the day cringing with embarrassment at all my pathetic attempts to make conversation.

I hope you get the transportation thing worked out. Sounds a little scary.

Liza Jane said...

As for small talk, you've picked it up waaay faster than James. I'm particularly bad at it, too, unless I'm with a somewhat chatty person or someone I know I have something in common with. I'm awful with non-Catholics.

What I've learned is that when it comes to a job, trusting God is truly your best bet. Ya, I know I sound trite, but let me tell you, I never would have imagined my current job working out for me. I honestly almost didn't apply for it because I didn't think I could handle the commute at night. However God has bigger plans that our puny little minds can handle, and he'll make it work out. Who knows what'll happen, really. I have every amount of confidence that you'll be pleasantly surprised. /sentimental inspirational moment

PS: try a novena to St. Therese!

The Sojourner said...

Emily-I'm fairly certain there is a whole section of my brain dedicated to replaying social interactions and finding fault with them. If there isn't enough recent fodder it will go back several years and pull up old memories of awkwardness. FUN TIMES.

Liza-St. Thomas Aquinas got Scott a job last year. I'm thinking he'd feel bad if I spurned him for St. Therese. (I know, he's all saintly and saints don't get jealous. Still, his feast day is coming up. St. Therese can wait.)